Gym embraces Applied Functional Science
The village of Kocsi, Hungary, is where carriages were first created, leading to the term "coach," or a medium of transport. Today coach has taken on a broader definition to include an athletic instructor or trainer, but for Chris Braden, co-owner of Train 4 The Game, the word covers both definitions.
"We define a coach as someone who takes a person of value from where they are to where they want to be," Braden said. "Coaches in the olden days could only be afforded by people of royalty. They would take people of value from one place to another. We want everybody to have a coach. That is why this isn't a gym where you just come in and start pumping curls. You are going to get the service of coaching every time. If you come through our door, we value you and will take you from where you are to where you want to be."
The one-on-one approach has been a part of Train 4 The Game since Kate Wright opened the gym in 2005, but Braden instituted a number of changes after becoming co-owner in 2012.
Braden had known Wright's husband, Todd, for a number of years leading up to his joining T4TG, and the duo noticed several patterns of performance injury.
"We could get people in great shape, but we would see the same injuries every year," Braden said. "Pattern recognition told us that we had to find a better way, or a different way."
Braden was introduced to Gary Gray, founder of the Gray Institute, which uses Applied Functional Science, and began to apply that knowledge to a performance setting.
"If we look at the body through the lens of Applied Functional Science, we see the body is a sequence of chain reactions," Braden said.
Braden said this allowed him to see movement of the body in an a new way. He said he began to see both the minute and global effects of a body's
"I could see how a dysfunctional ankle would affect the low back or how a big toe might affect the opposite side's shoulder," he said. "We are really the only place doing something like this, not just in this city, but in the nation."
The new approach allowed T4TG to become efficient at helping people overcome pain issues, but that is only a part of what the gym does, Braden said.
Braden, a Rollingwood resident, said that T4TG's old one-on-one focus worked well but was costly to the partners at the gym—T4TG refers to customers as partners in the journey they take—and did not reach as many people as he wanted.
This led Braden and his coworkers to come up with a system that works for the individual but can also be experienced in a class.
"We want to provide more value to the citizens," he said. "This is a cheaper model for our partners and is a way we can reach more people. We aren't trying to get partners that sign up for three months, we want to sign them up for years. We are trying to create a long-term, sustainable business model. It's a win-win for everyone."
Braden said that he wants T4TG to become a big part of the community and even hopes to start providing free workouts for Rollingwood residents in September.
"Obesity is becoming a huge problem in this country," he said. "We are just trying to provide a fun way to combat that."
Train 4 the Game, 3201 Bee Caves Road, Ste. 121, Austin, 512-794-2800, www.train4thegame.com